First up, from July 2 the roster will be cut back from daily to just five times a week – with no flights on Wednesday or Friday.
Frequency is key for corporate flyers, and having to arrange your schedule around those two holes in the calendar – especially when one falls at the very end of the working week, when you'd rather be heading home that night – will likely cruel its appeal, and certainly compared to the daily flights of Qantas and thrice-daily of Cathay Pacific.
Both this and the revamped timetable are due to the limited availability of landing and take-off slots at crowded Hong Kong airport, with the new Sydney-Hong Kong route obviously taking precedence.
The new schedule sees a Melbourne departure of 12.30am – yes, that's half-past midnight – every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, reaching Hong Kong at 8.10am.
By comparison, Virgin's current (pre-Sydney) schedule sees the northbound flight leaving Melbourne around noon, depending on the day (exact timing varies from 11am to 12.40pm).
Flights out of Hong Kong undergo relatively little change: they're currently departing around 8pm, depending on the day, to reach Melbourne around 8am-9am the next morning.
The new Hong Kong-Melbourne leg is wheels up at 6.10pm for a Melbourne arrival at 5.40am except for Monday, when the times are pushed back around an hour to 7.15pm and 6.45am respectively.
So it's the Melbourne-Hong Kong leg which gets the most dramatic shift, moving a whole 12 hours.
In its favour, the new time allows for a solid working day plus dinner at home before heading to the airport – with a flying time of almost ten hours in which to get your sleep and ideally awake refreshed and ready to tackle the day ahead (even if that means a connecting flight into mainland China with Virgin partner Hong Kong Airlines).
Of course, not every traveller sleeps well on flights – and many would undoubtedly prefer a daytime leg which sees them able to land into Hong Kong that evening and head straight to their hotel.
So we're asking our Melbourne-based and Hong Kong-bound readers: how will Virgin's change to its Melbourne-Hong Kong schedule affect you, and will it impact your choice of airline the next time you fly?
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